Listen: Driving Song / Jethro Tull
Don’t confuse this early lineup of Jethro Tull with what came later. By album four, AQUALUNG, leader Ian Anderson had completely diminished their original swing and power by either eliminating founding members, or torturing them away with a softer, fussy sound, noticeably devoid of any jazz or blues influences.
The Clive Bunker / Glenn Cornick rhythm section were so integral to the swing the band had on THIS WAS and STAND UP, well it was almost criminal seeing it be destroyed at the time. ‘Driving Song’, the B side to ‘Living In The Past’, recorded just prior to the STAND UP sessions, remained a strong example of the live sound, even after adding John Evan on piano, around the time of third album BENEFIT. That was sadly the beginning of the end for their great initial period though, as both BENEFIT and the US dates to promote it began to show signs of the soft rock rot which inevitably came thereafter.
A timeless complaint theme of band being overworked by label/management/agent, ‘Driving Song’ probably felt completely throwaway to the voting members of the team, but in hindsight like anything pre BENEFIT, aged better than all further releases.